Nikolas Bowie –
Laws take. It’s what they’re for. Taxes take dollars from some people and distribute them to other people. Traffic laws take away drivers’ opportunity to speed through intersections. Zoning restrictions take from neighbors their ability to build apartments in their backyards. Talk to me about a law’s requirements and you’ll be talking about a taking.
The ubiquitous nature of takings is why the Supreme Court’s decision in Knick v. Township of Scott was, perhaps, its most consequential decision of the last Term. The case dramatically expanded the range of circumstances in which a person can challenge a state or local law in federal court under the Takings Clause, which states that “private property [shall not] be taken for public use, without just compensation.” Given the current Court’s deregulatory impulses, the end result could endanger many redistributive laws at the local level, including inclusionary zoning rules, rent controls, and every other health and safety regulation that “takes.”Continue reading